Yu Starts a Price War?

Posted on February 15, 2010

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Conveniently dubbed “Amua – raha mustarehe”. Yu is positioning itself as the mobile operator of choice of the masses by using Swahili in its adverts – arguably the most widely spoken language in Kenya.

The latest offers from Yu:

  1. Make yu-yu calls at 1/= from midnight to 8am; 2/= from 8am to 4pm and 3/= from 4pm to midnight. To subscribe at 30/= per month dial *155*3#
  2. Make unlimited yu-yu calls all day for 3 days. To subscribe at 199/= dial *155*1
  3. Make unlimited yu-yu calls all day for 30 days. To subscribe at 1,199/= dial *155*2#
  4. Earn a 50% bonus on top-ups above KSh 100/=

Much remains to be seen of what will come of this, given that Kenyans are a skeptical lot. Remember the Orange 1/= offer that Orange had to discontinue?

In the long run such strategies are doomed if the inter-connection rates among the mobile phone operators remain high. It’s impractical to expect Kenyans to move en mass to one mobile operator, or keep migrating as they become a pawn in these price wars.

A long term strategy would be the elimination of price as a differentiating factor and the embrace of other added value services; such as the measure of customer satisfaction – in superior customer service, efficient money transfer/m-commerce solutions, data services… etc.

Such a balance can be reached by eliminating the inter-connection fees the operators charge each other, which has greatly worked to the favour of the current “monopoly” leader.

Till such a time, as a consumer, am excited by the current promotion but skeptical whether I should bank on it as a long term plan.

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Posted in: Mobile, Voice